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Twisting The Hellmouth Crossing Over Awards - Results
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CoA nominations are now closed. We have a few weeks before voting starts while we check the nominees and the authors accept/reject the nominations; we still have 600 or so to process, so it may be a while before all nominated authors are notified.

So while waiting for voting to begin, how about a game of dominoes?

The FFA Dominoes Challenge: No, it's nothing to do with pizza! The challenge is to build the longest chain of stories using open FFA entries where the character from the previous pairing participates in the next without a) repeating a character or b) using a pairing you nominated yourself. Hint: use the search box on the Fic-for-all page to find all pairings for a crossover character.

e.g. If your first story was Buffy / Daniel Jackson then your second could be Daniel Jackson / Dawn and your third Dawn / Harry Potter etc.

Add your responses here
Posted 16 Jul 10 • (Moderator)jrabbit • Comments
Okay, so we are a little bit late, but nominations are now open for the 2010 Crossing Over Awards. The format of the awards remains the same as in previous years, although we have extended the time periods this year in response to feedback from the last awards. We have also removed the awards specifically for unfinished works as this isn't compatible with an extended voting period.

Some top-level categories on the site do not have their own award category this year as there are insufficient qualifying stories posted. However, for the very popular television category, we have three awards: Crime, Sci-fi/Fantasy/Supernatural and all other shows.

A plea to those making nominations: please make sure you check whether the story you are nominating is a multiple crossover and nominate it in the right category; as we have re-organized the Comics, DC Universe, Marvel Universe and X-Men sections of the site, there are many stories in the Multiple Crossings category that should now belong in the Marvel Universe or DC Universe categories. Conversely, there are often cases where the author fails to explicitly state that their story is a multiple crossover. The general rule for award nominations is that multiple crossovers between fandoms in the same fictional universe are nominated in the category for that universe. Multiple crossovers between fandoms in different universes go in the multiple crossovers category.

A plea to authors: if you have old multiple crossover stories that may be in the wrong place as a result of us moving categories around, please move them.

Finally, thanks to all those who participated in our 'Hug a Donor' challenge.
Posted 3 Jul 10 • (Moderator)jrabbit • Comments
The generosity of our donors is what keeps this site on the net and free from annoying advertising, and it's been a while since we last publicly said thank you. Despite the recent world financial climate, donations to the site have remained steady; therefore, we've decided to temporarily suspend taking new donations, and give something back to those who have made a contribution.

And the best way to do that is to provide more of the type of fic they want to read, so we present the 'Hug a Donor' challenge: we'd like to call on all of our authors to answer a challenge from one of our donors.
Posted 28 Mar 10 • (Moderator)jrabbit • Comments
Some say Sunday's a day of rest,
but I say Sunday's a day to test
your skill in finding the perfect word
that sounds a bit like the one you just heard.
So strap yourself in and behold the furor
as Rhyming Review Day approaches once more!
Posted 9 Mar 10 • (Moderator)jrabbit
I have recently upgraded the web server. Hopefully, you should notice a speed improvement. If you notice any issues or find any parts of the site are inaccessible, please post in the forums.
Posted 6 Mar 10 • (Moderator)jrabbit
Now that we have a full three-level category hierarchy for challenges, if you haven't edited your challenges and moved them into the appropriate category, it's less likely that authors are going to see them, and you're less likely to get anyone answering them.
Posted 16 Jan 10 • (Moderator)jrabbit
XHTML Compliance

Although for the most part you won't notice any effects, the biggest change is that the site should now be XHTML compliant. This means the syntax of the HTML for both the web pages the site generates and the stories you upload is checked to a more rigorous standard. The benefits of this are that there should no longer be any run-away bold/italics tags at the end of stories, better browser compatibility, and it was also necessary to do this for some of the other changes to work properly.

It does, however, mean that every story on the site has been re-parsed by the new upload code and it is possible that there have been unexpected side effects. Please check your stories and see if the formatting still looks okay.

The following changes have been made to stories to support this stricter syntax which will have a minor effect on formatting:
  • Missing closing tags are inserted into posted HTML.
  • All images are given an alternate text of 'Illustration' if you don't provide one.
  • border, hspace and vspace attributes are no longer supported on images. Spacing is now set automatically based on the alignment used.
  • Hyperlinks are not permitted to cross horizontal rules.

Improved Mobile Support

Thanks to all those who completed the mobile device survey a few months ago. Based on the feedback obtained, there are now a number of improvements when the site is viewed on a mobile device:

  • Many hyperlinks now contain an in-page target position in handheld mode to reduce the amount of scrolling required when arriving on a new page.
  • A new much smaller homepage in handheld mode with links to the individual sections of the normal homepage.
  • Viewport scaling information is included for browsers that support it (iPhone & Opera Mobile) to make pages open at the screen width rather than as a much wider page that need horizontal scrolling.
  • Long lines of punctuation characters that look like a divider will be replaced with horizontal rule tags. In the future we will make this more visually appealing - its just a simple line for now.
  • Improved the layout of author profile page in handheld mode to fit a narrow screen.

New features for challenges
  • Challenges can now be placed into any category that you can put stories in; you are no longer restricted to just the top level categories.
  • The list of challenges now reloads immediately when filtered if javascript is enabled.
  • Bug fix: Editing a challenge did not force the removal of the old version from user's Temporary Internet Files.

Improved Navigation
  • There is now a link at the end of each story to return to the last page with a list of stories on it that you viewed. You will also be scrolled straight to the next story in the list from the one you selected.
  • If you have tracked stories that are unread, you will see a link to the next unread tracked story link at end of story.
  • Community menu items no longer open in a new window (needed for xhtml compliance)
  • Links to privacy policy added to home page (which always existed but was burried on the old site) and information menu and policy updated to reflect current reality.
  • When selecting a Random fic, you can now choose unreviewed stories or short stories.
  • Added an 'All fandoms' page that lists all categories that represent a unique fandom.

Read in more formats

You can now download stories in the EPUB e-book format, supported by most hardware e-book readers (except Kindle). There is also reader software available for most desktop operating systems and mobile phones.

You can also now view stories in a simplified HTML format suitable for printing or reading offiline.

Other changes

There have also been some miscellaneous fixes and improvements:

  • Bug fix: The link "Read Reviews" didn't include the chapter number in the link so if you then went to add review afterwards it added the review for chapter 1, not the final chapter.
  • Simplified the forgotten password processes for using real name and for using using email address into a single form.
  • Y-axis of all line graphs now has a minimum value of zero.
  • Number of recommendations made and your limit listed in profile and recommendations limit explained in faq.
  • You can now change the maximum rating properly with javacsript disabled.
  • Viewing a chapter higher than your maximum rating now has show/skip buttons rather than a big space that you have to scroll down past when javascript is on. The old method still works when there is no script available.

Changes to the Site Rules

As well as technical changes to the code, we've also updated a few of the site rules:
  • We have relaxed our ban on using real people in stories. However, there are still restrictions - see the new Rule 2 for details.
  • We've reworded rule 6 to explicitly mention that very extreme FR-21 fics may be removed if the moderators feel they are unsuitable. Note: this is not a change in policy, just a clarification, and it's only happened twice that I can remember.
  • We've also made it explicit that stories have to be written in English.
  • We've tightened Rule 4 of the challenges rules to reduce the number of boilerplate challenges. In additional to not allowing challenges that merely consist of a crossover or a requested pairing, we are now also banning challenges that only ask for a specific Halloween Costume, real parent or reincarnation.

Anything I should do?
  • If you are an author, check your stories are still formatted correctly, especially if you used lots of HTML formating.
  • If you have written any challenges, please edit them and move them into the correct category.
Posted 10 Jan 10 • (Moderator)jrabbit • Comments
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